The new norm is working from home. Most of us these days are working from home due to the pandemic. Making sure we are productive and comfortable is key when it comes to working from home. We are so used to our homes being our sanctuary. Our home is where we hang our hat, a place where we can rest our heads after a rough day of the daily 9-5 work life.
Since we are having to work from home, we have had to blend both homes and work together. Both environments have become a hybrid of joy and labor due to everything that is happening in the world. Some people of course tend to miss office life. Being able to have those few moments of chit-chat in an office as opposed to being home alone with the occasional mutter to yourself isn’t as much fun for some people.
Others are thriving while working from home as opposed to working in an office. Some people enjoy the solitude and the opportunity to avoid the dreaded “office small talk” that some of us are forced into each day we work. Being able to put your nose to the grindstone without any distractions has been almost a blessing in disguise for most who have been working from home.
Working from the home of course has a lot of benefits and chances for a less stressful work environment for anyone who happens to work from home. A lot of companies are choosing this option and making it more permanent while some companies are trying to transition for their employees to return to the office.
Whether you are new to working from home or a seasoned pro, how you work in this environment means everything. You want to prove your worth and that you are fully capable of working from home. Your work from the home station is the biggest and by far the most important part of having a home office. Many people make mistakes when setting up their work from home office and workstations. We want to make sure we are completely ready to take on the world and climb the corporate ladder.
Many of us tend to focus on the things we need when creating a work-from-home station but most people forget that it is easier to focus on the things you don’t need to get the most out of working from home. Sure we all want to “be prepared” as the Boy Scouts would say but there is such thing as being over-prepared. So what can you do to avoid putting unnecessary items in your work from home station? Simply put, this article will give you all the tips you need to optimize your work from home station.
Avoid Being Near a TV or Anything You Can Watch
One of the many mistakes people make when setting up or upgrading their work from home station is being in the vicinity of a TV or streaming device. This is a common thing that people feel that they need to have some noise in the background and keep their stress levels low. Believe it or not, this is a common distraction that you should avoid when working from home.
Most employers feel that their employees are doing this while working from home and essentially getting paid to watch something on Netflix or whatever they watch. The best thing to do is to prove that employer wrong. Having a TV show going is more distracting than you think. Sure a quick minute of watching something is nice but not while you work.
You should avoid adding anything you can watch to your work from home station. You of course will need your phone available in case anything happens but use your phone to listen to music or a podcast. Keeping your eyes focused on your work with some noise in the background will help keep your productivity on track.
Avoid The Dreaded “Snack Drawer”
Snacks of course are the fuel that helps some of us get through the day. Sometimes that mid-day hunger hits you and instead of getting up, you have a nice snack already waiting for you in a desk drawer. With you working from home and creating a work from home station, you should avoid this. Being at home we all tend to be more comfortable, relaxed, and hey sometimes even a bit lazy.
With this being the case if we are constantly snacking with that mentality we will lose focus on work, could be at risk for depression, and overall could cause some potential health issues. Snacking is good in moderation, but if you have an entire drawer of snacks available for you then it will do more harm than good. Have a small snack available on your work from home desk. Preferably a healthy snack that will help you avoid increasing your risk of obesity, as that has also become a common issue with working from home.
Avoid The Over Clutter
As mentioned earlier, being too prepared at your work from home work station isn’t the best environment. You may have too much workspace or not enough but either way your work from home station should be free of clutter. After a while papers, etc can clutter up your desk. This is even more true when working in an office environment you may have had before being transitioned to work from home.
he best way to avoid clutter is to have time to tidy up during the day. Some people use the morning to clear away the previous day’s mess, while others feel it is important to clear up their clutter at the end of the day to start their next morning with a clean slate. Be sure to keep the essentials at your desk.
Doesn’t have to be fancy or over-decorated, but it has to be a space that promotes professionalism as if you were in an office. Having a photo or desk toy is a great thing for any desk, especially a work from home desk. Granted you don’t want to have too many of each of these things. My advice is to pick one of your favorite desk toys that will bring you joy and one photo that you know will help you get through a rough day.
Avoid A Small Water Bottle
Staying hydrated while you work is more important than most people think. People tend to spend most of their day so busy they forget to drink anything at all. One thing people tend to do is have a smaller water bottle available to have when the occasion calls for it. One thing to remember is that in order to be as efficient as possible, you have to make sure your body is getting all that it needs.
Water should be a top priority while you work but having a small water bottle can be more distracting than helpful. If you are staying on track with drinking water, you will most likely have to keep getting up and refilling your water bottle multiple times a day. Because of this you are constantly leaving your work from home workstation and getting less work done.
The best way to avoid this is to get a large water bottle. There are some great gallon water bottles available that people have used to not only stay hydrated but to stay on task while they work.
Avoid The Urge to Browse Social Media
Social media by far is one of the biggest distractions when it comes to staying on task while you work. We all want to get a glimpse of the world around us and the exciting things going on in it. Of course, it is nice to see how a friend living out of state is doing or what’s the hottest celebrity gossip happening, but these are all things we can do while not at your work from home station.
Now if you are on a break, sure have at it but indulging in that urge each time you have it pop in your head is going to do more harm than good. You would be surprised how much time has passed when you go down a rabbit hole reading all the comments on a popular post so it is always good to put your phone away. Be sure though to have it readily available for an emergency, should you need to be contacted. It is always best just to keep your phone in your pocket or somewhere stored close by like in a desk drawer to have available for when you need it.
Having a work-from-home station and a greatly structured one is very key to working from home. You want to make sure that you are reflecting the best professionalism in your work. All that starts with how your work from home environment is structured. You also have the great opportunity and ability to change up your work from home station anytime you want, which is nice because we all need variety every now and then. The key is simple, stay comfortable and stay productive.